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Highway and Road Construction Updates


GRDadof3

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It's a nice stretch of road now, that's for sure. How long will the new 3 lane section be?

Eventually I-196 will be a mix of 3 - 5 lanes in each direction from the Fulton Street on-ramp to downtown (I think by 2010).

I did notice tonight that the Eastbound lanes are all open! :thumbsup:

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This kinda fell by the wayside, but construction news from the East side: The bridgework on I-196 Westbound near College is NOW OPEN, and it's HUGE. :yahoo: A sign of what it will look like when that stretch goes 3 lanes in each direction.

The Eastbound side looked to be getting close to wrapping up, which hopefully will bring the opening of College Ave's on-ramp to I-196 Eastbound.

I also noticed that they have the Westbound lanes of the Michigan Street bridge over Division almost complete. The bridge does have some "better than average" detailing to it that can be seen from Division below.

The eastbound on-ramp reopened this afternoon less than an hour after your post, so now all ramps and lanes are open.

Edited by highwayguy
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Eventually I-196 will be a mix of 3 - 5 lanes in each direction from the Fulton Street on-ramp to downtown (I think by 2010).

I did notice tonight that the Eastbound lanes are all open! :thumbsup:

You beat me to it!

All of the info on the plans/ideas for this area can be found in this improvement study. It basically includes I-96 from Cascade Rd to Leonard St, I-196 from I-96 to US-131, and East Beltline Ave from Knapp St to Fulton St.

On a side note, expect some significant construction in the US-131/44th St area in the not-so-distant future, as well as 28th St between US-131 and Division Ave.

Edited by highwayguy
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You beat me to it!

All of the info on the plans/ideas for this area can be found in this improvement study. It basically includes I-96 from Cascade Rd to Leonard St, I-196 from I-96 to US-131, and East Beltline Ave from Knapp St to Fulton St.

On a side note, expect some significant construction in the US-131/44th St area in the not-so-distant future, as well as 28th St between US-131 and Division Ave.

Sorry highwayguy. I think we crossed streams on that one. :P

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  • 2 months later...

For those of you who travel Monroe Ave every day, according to the City Commission's agenda for tomorrow, it appears that it is scheduled to be rebuilt from Frank St. to Palmer St. next year (essentially from Leonard to Ann). That part of Monroe is pretty horrible.

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The 5 year State Transportation Plan is under Review.

Your Comments are needed.

This is a quote from Mlive.com

"The state Department of Transportation will hold meetings beginning today to review its five-year transportation plan.

Meetings are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today at Big Rapids City Hall; 4 p.m. Thursday in Muskegon; and 4 p.m.
Saturday at the MDOT Grand Rapids Transportation Service Center, 2660 Leonard St. NE.

The plan for 2008-2012
covers everything from highway construction to rail and airport improvements
.

A look at the plan will be available beginning Saturday at michigan.gov/mdot5yearplan."

I would like to attend but I will be out of town.

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In other news regarding G.R. freeways....

"The state is installing a new $1.3 million tool to help ease traffic congestion on Grand Rapids highways...The sensors count every vehicle that goes by, along with their speed....The state Department of Transportation uses the same technology in Detroit to inform motorists about average travel times...U.S. 131 from 28th Street north to West River Drive, and on I-196, from M-45 east to the East Beltline."

Mlive Article

...Says we should start seeing travel times posted by the end of next summer, and it's about time. Seems like those electronic boards have been completely useless since they put them up.

Edited by the_grand_raggidy
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...Says we should start seeing travel times posted by the end of next summer, and it's about time. Seems like those electronic boards have been completely useless since they put them up.

I would argue that they haven't been "completely useless", especially when used to alert drivers of accidents or construction projects. Secondary crashes (those that happen as a result of another crash) account for approximately 20% of all crashes in the US. If the signs have helped to prevent even a few of them, then they have certainly not been "completely useless".

When there are not any accidents, I agree that travel times will be a much better use of the signs than the typical "don't drink and drive" or "slow down when the weather is bad" messages, which are perhaps what you are referring to. However, it takes time (and money) to build up a network and get to the point where it's possible to do these things, and you have to start somewhere. Fortunately, the system should only get bigger and better as time goes on.

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... I agree that travel times will be a much better use of the signs than the typical "don't drink and drive" or "slow down when the weather is bad" messages...

LOW ON FUEL? FILL UP

Almost as helpful as the classic (non-electronic) sign in rural areas:

DO NOT PASS WHEN OPPOSING TRAFFIC IS PRESENT

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NO RIGHT TURN WHEN PEDESTRIANS PRESENT

Sad thing is, that sign is actually needed, and even then isn't always followed. <<

Was there a sign south of 28th Street or was it North of? If South of, perhaps when the BRT is built it can also suggest going to a BRT park-and-ride as alternate means of transportation.

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LOW ON FUEL? FILL UP

Almost as helpful as the classic (non-electronic) sign in rural areas:

DO NOT PASS WHEN OPPOSING TRAFFIC IS PRESENT

Yes, but you'd be surprised how many breakdowns are the result of someone simply running out of gas. MDOT's Freeway Courtesy Patrol assisted over 6,000 motorists in the Detroit area in 2006 who were stranded for that reason. (2006 Report) It may not be the most effective message they have, but messages like that only run when there is nothing else going on, and the sign would otherwise just be blank.

The "Do Not Pass When Opposing Traffic Is Present" signs are almost always placed in locations where a passing lane has been added to a rural highway. The signs are installed in the direction that still has only one lane. The intention is to warn people not to pass when any traffic is coming from the other way, even if all of the cars are in the right lane, because you never know when someone might switch lanes, creating the possibility for a head-on crash. There were several problems with this right after they began building passing lanes on rural highways, leading to the installation of the mentioned signs.

Edited by highwayguy
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NO RIGHT TURN WHEN PEDESTRIANS PRESENT

Sad thing is, that sign is actually needed, and even then isn't always followed. <<

Was there a sign south of 28th Street or was it North of? If South of, perhaps when the BRT is built it can also suggest going to a BRT park-and-ride as alternate means of transportation.

I think it's actually "NO TURN ON RED WHEN PEDESTRIANS PRESENT". IIRC, there are signs that say this at Division Ave and 36th St. My guess is that they are probably the result of a higher than normal pedestrian volume due to Godwin Heights High School, which is on the NW corner.

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highwayguy, do you know anything about the giant overhead lights being changed out at all the major freeway interchanges? They are currently redoing the ones at I-196 and the East Beltline, and I thought I saw them doing prep work at I-96 and 131. I remember the first time I drove in Grand Rapids at night and thought those huge lights were pretty cool (we didn't have those in other parts of the of the State).

Thanks!

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Are they getting rid of the ridiculously tall light fixtures now? NICE!

I always thought it would have been cool to have ground lights on each side of the pavement shining towards the middle - and you could do them in different colors and such. Only problem would probably be in the winter if snow is on top of it all...and not to mention plows scraping them.

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Are they getting rid of the ridiculously tall light fixtures now? NICE!

I always thought it would have been cool to have ground lights on each side of the pavement shining towards the middle - and you could do them in different colors and such. Only problem would probably be in the winter if snow is on top of it all...and not to mention plows scraping them.

No, they're being replaced.

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No, they're being replaced.

I'm pretty sure they are being replaced with galvanized steel due to being made of Corten steel. That's the stuff that's looks rusty. In theory it rusts to thin layer of rust and then never needs painting. What "they" found out is that in a cyclic wet / dry environment, the material continues to rust and rust and rust......... The inside of the towers get wet during hot & cold cycles and the towers are literally rusting away from the inside. I'm surprised they haven't been replaced already.

Michigan built some bridges built using this material also. (There's one up by Big Rapids on 131) Many have been blasted and painted near the joints that are prone to leak to counteract the continuous rusting problem.

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Last time I was on 131 (2 weeks ago) there were 4 lanes on NB between Ann and 96, and the usual 4 lanes on SB starting at 96, with the right lane exiting at Ann.

131 has 4 lanes between the I96 ramps and Ann St. SB 131 has 2 lanes under 96, the 2 lane kazoo ramp is added next to the 131 lanes and the right hand lane then becomes the Ann ST EXIT ONLY lane, the other 3 are SB 131. NB has 3 lanes coming up to Ann. The NB Ann st on ramp is added next to the 3 lanes. The right two lanes then become NB 131, the left 2 lanes become the Muskegon ramp to I96.

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